by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation © by Linda Godry

What is beauty but a breath
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
What is beauty but a breath?
Fancies twin at birth & death,
The colour of a damask rose,
That fadeth when the northwind blowes:
'tis such that though all sorts do crave it,
they know not what it is to have it:
a thing that some time stoops not to a king
and yet most open to the commonst thing:
For she that is most fair,
Is open to the aire.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Linda Godry) , title 1: "Ist Schönheit nicht wie des Atems Hauch?", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Linda Godry

This text was added to the website: 2007-08-14
Line count: 10
Word count: 71

Ist Schönheit nicht wie des Atems Hauch?
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ist Schönheit nicht wie des Atems Hauch?
Zwiefach anwesend bei Geburt und Tod,
wie die zarte Farbe der Damaszener Rose,
die vergeht wenn der Nordwind bläst:
all jene, die sie begehren
wissen nicht was sie mit sich bringt:
sie die sich oft nicht mal vor den Königen verneigt
und doch jedwedem eigen sein kann:
denn Sie, die die allerschönste ist,
gehört niemandem und verweht im Wind.


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2007 by Linda Godry, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2007-08-14
Line count: 10
Word count: 66